Psychedelics and related substances have contributed to a number of major scientific and technological breakthroughs and developments. Their highly ill-informed designation as Class A substances “with a high potential for abuse and no medical use” stands in stark contrast to what the accumulating scientific evidence has to say about these compounds. A much neglected area of psychedelic science, ironically, is how psychedelics contribute to the creative scientific process.
Dr. Ede Frecska, Chairman of Psychiatry at the University of Debrecen in Hungary and long time researcher of ayahuasca, is attempting to find out if DMT helps extend the surivival of the brain during those precious moments when a person is able to be resuscitated upon clinical death. There is already a number of pieces of supporting evidence but more research still needs to be done, and we can all help. The implications of this could be enormous.
Members of the DMT-Nexus are frequently exploring new and novel ways to administer psychedelics. This is particularly true in the case of ayahuasca, as preparation of an effective brew can take the better part of a day and is almost certain to cause uncomfortable nausea. For some, all of that is just part of the experience; preparing the brew, the unpleasant taste, the stomach/bowel discomfort…Yet many others may find these qualities undesirable and would instead prefer a quicker and more reliable way to experience the effects of ayahuasca. This is precisely what pharmahuasca offers.
Despite numerous published scientific papers and anecdotal reports indicating the presence of DMT in a wide variety of plants, there is much ambiguity, contradiction, and speculation regarding the actual chemical composition of many of these plants. Discussions of indigenous preparations, which include DMT-containing plants, often treat the phytochemistry of the β-carboline-containing plants as fairly uniform. However, new examinations of these plants, utilizing modern analytical techniques, have shown them to contain a variety of compounds in differing ratios.
The Psychedelic Frontier summarizes new findings from research published late last year in The Bryologist. A lichen sample collected over 30 years ago in South America by ethnobotanist Wade Davis was determined to be a new species. Chemical analysis suggests the presence of both psilocybin and 5-MeO-DMT.
With this article I have tried to lay out just a few simplistic but realistic ways in which we can go about challenging the ways that the dominant power structures of society infiltrate the psychedelic community. It is up to each of us as individuals to take these steps further if we wish to see real change at a fundamental level. This includes educating ourselves in addition to being pro-active in struggles that we are passionate about.